CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s newest astronaut mission for NASA has reached its vacation spot.
The Crew-5 mission launched yesterday (Oct. 5) from NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart in Florida, sending a Dragon capsule aloft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. That Dragon, named Endurance, caught up with the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) right now (Oct. 6), after a 29-hour orbital chase.
Endurance made contact with the ahead port of the station’s Concord module at 5:01 p.m. EDT (2101 GMT), whereas the 2 spacecraft have been flying over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa. The docking operation was accomplished about 10 minutes later.
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The hatches between Endurance and the ISS are scheduled to open at 6:42 p.m. EDT (2242 GMT), after which the Crew-5 astronauts — NASA’s Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan’s Koichi Wakata and cosmonaut Anna Kikina — will transfer into the ISS for a five-month keep.
You may watch the hatch opening right here at Area.com, courtesy of NASA TV, in addition to an ISS welcome ceremony, which is slated to comply with at 8:05 p.m. EDT (0005 GMT on Oct. 7).
(Picture credit score: NASA TV)
Mann and Kikina have the distinction of carrying private mantles for this mission: Mann is the primary Native American lady in house, and Kikina is the primary cosmonaut to fly on a SpaceX Dragon. Each are spaceflight rookies, as is Cassada; Wakata has now been to house 5 occasions.
The Dragon Endurance additionally ferried SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission to the ISS and again. SpaceX operates a fleet of 4 Crew Dragon capsules, that are refurbished and examined earlier than every reflight. Endurance flew with a mix of recent and beforehand flown elements, together with a brand new warmth protect, parachutes and nostril cone.
SpaceX can also be well-known for flying used rockets, however the Crew-5 liftoff featured a Falcon 9 with a brand-new first stage. The booster, painted with NASA’s worm brand, was vivid white, freed from the soot that is a well-known sight on the corporate’s reflown first phases.
“We do like getting the brand new boosters,” Steve Stich, supervisor of NASA’s industrial crew program, stated in a post-launch press convention yesterday.
“Each time SpaceX places a brand new booster within the fleet, they proceed to make … security enhancements to the boosters,” Stich defined. “We just like the reflown boosters, however … getting a brand new booster will get us some upgrades and a few security enhancements, which we respect an enormous quantity.”
The Crew-5 astronauts are becoming a member of seven crewmates already aboard the ISS, 4 of whom are members of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission. Crew-5’s arrival begins the countdown for Crew-4’s departure from the station, which can occur in a few week, stated Sarah Walker, director for Dragon mission administration at SpaceX.
The precise timing of Crew-4’s splashdown return off the coast of Florida relies on climate, Walker stated throughout yesterday’s post-launch press convention.
“So, we’ll proceed to observe the climate,” she stated. “The car that’s onboard supporting the Crew-4 mission is wholesome, and we’ll simply look ahead to these circumstances to securely convey the crew residence.”
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